In 2005, Nonesuch released The McGarrigle Christmas Hour, an album in which sisters Kate & Anna McGarrigle, their family—including Kate's children, Rufus & Martha Wainwright—and honorary family members, like Emmylou Harris, celebrated the holidays in song. That same year saw the start of a holiday tradition of live Christmas shows starring family and friends. The music-making continues this December with Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Noël Nights in NYC, with Harris, Cibo Matto, Justin Vivian Bond, Loudon Wainwright, and more, and Montreal. Proceeds go to The Kate McGarrigle Foundation for sarcoma research.
In 2005, Nonesuch released The McGarrigle Christmas Hour, an album in which sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle, their family—including Kate's children, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright—and honorary family members, like Emmylou Harris, celebrated the holidays in song. That same year saw the start of a holiday tradition of live McGarrigle/Wainwright Christmas shows full of eclectic carols in French and English, traditional and not so traditional, starring McGarrigles, Wainwrights, and many friends. This year, the music-making continues with Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Noël Nights and a return to New York City and Montreal for the first time in three years. The concerts at New York's Town Hall, December 17 and 18, feature appearances from Emmylou Harris, Cibo Matto, Justin Vivian Bond, Loudon Wainwright III, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Sloan Wainwright, Jenni Muldaur, and special surprise guests; for tickets, click here. The concert at Maison Symphonique in Montreal on December 21 includes special guests Louis-Jean Cormier, Ariane Moffatt, and Amy Millan; for tickets to that show, click here.
Kate McGarrigle hoped to take the Christmas show across the North America, playing in as many cities as possible. However, in 2006, she was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare and deadly cancer. There was no show in 2006, but in 2007, the family brought the show back to Carnegie Hall in New York City. Kate McGarrigle curated and planned the show. Although she was too ill to perform, she did come out onstage at the end, much to the delight of those in attendance.
The annual concerts have since gone on to support the Kate McGarrigle Fund, which is dedicated to research for a cure for sarcoma. Kate McGarrigle passed away in January 2010, less than a month after performing at a sold-out holiday concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. Rufus and Martha Wainwright revived the family tradition in 2011, in honor of their mother and to raise money for the cause. All proceeds from this year's concerts will benefit The Kate McGarrigle Foundation.
In 2013, Nonesuch Records released the two-CD set Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle, featuring highlights from three concerts held in honor of Kate McGarrigle, held in London, Toronto, and New York, after her death. Proceeds from the set, which includes performances by Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Anna McGarrigle, Emmylou Harris, Antony, Norah Jones, Teddy Thompson, and others, go to the Kate McGarrigle Foundation as well. To pick up a copy of the album, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include a free MP3 download of the complete album at checkout.